"Just how anyone "hears" tubes when playing back CDs, which involve digital-to-analogue conversion, remains a mystery. An even bigger mystery is how such folks determine what natural sound is in repertoire that the vast majority of them have never heard live, in an acoustic space that they will never enter. Oh well, there are tube freaks, just like there are historical recording freaks, modern music freaks, piano freaks, conductor freaks--and what they all have in common is the fact that they are freaks. Tacet′s Andreas Spreer, whether recording by tube or not, makes some of the best sounding recordings in the business, and this one is no exception. His name on a recording virtually assures its sonic excellence. By any standard, this release is technically outstanding, with lifelike string timbres realistically balanced in a nicely warm room. So if audio is what primarily concerns you, this is one Mozart disc you will certainly want to own. Happily, the performances are also very good indeed. The excellence of Polish string players seems to be one of those musical traditions, like Czech wind playing, still very much alive and kicking. The Polish Chamber Philharmonic under Wojciech Rajski offers lively, refreshing performances whose high level of polish serves the music without ever turning precious or over-refined. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik has plenty of energy--the kind that makes you perk up and really listen even though you′ve heard the music a million times before. But the real treats are the other works, little-played and full of charm, particularly the Divertimento in D KV 136, a surprisingly substantial piece in three well-developed movements. I′m not impressed by gimmicks, so couldn′t care less about the tube business. Good sound is good sound, and a good performance is a good performance. Tacet lets us have both, in equal measure."
David Hurwitz

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